European Union institutions, busy as they are with their obsession with alleged violations of democratic principles and the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, are refusing to react to the worrying political violence and assault on democracy taking place in the member country of Spain.
On Wednesday, April 7, in Madrid, an open-air event organized by the conservative Vox party in the Vallecas district to present its candidates for the May 4 regional elections was brutally attacked by left-wing extremists who had come to block Vox’s legal right to hold a campaign event. The extremists arrived in response to calls from left-wing parties in the Madrid Assembly, including the two parties which govern together at the national level: the Socialist Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and the far-left Unidas Podemos alliance of former deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias, who is now Podemos’ head of list for these regional elections.
The full-scale assault on the Vox election rally held in a Madrid neighborhood that usually votes left ended with dozens of members and supporters of Santiago Abascal’s party injured. Sufficient police forces had been dispatched to secure the event, but the police allowed the left-wing activists to get close to the conservative crowd, with the left-wing activists then proceeding to throw stones, bricks, bottles, and other blunt objects. Among the many participants in that Vox meeting who had to be hospitalized, there was even a member of parliament.
Vuestras piedras, vuestras amenazas y vuestro odio, no lograrán que demos un paso atrás. Vallecas en pie!! Madrid y España por la libertad!!??? pic.twitter.com/hkidJqnqpQ
— Javier Ortega Smith (@Ortega_Smith) April 7, 2021
Now police officers in charge of securing Vox’s campaign rally are accusing Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE), of deliberately not allowing them to keep far-left activists at a safe distance.
After the violence, another member of the government, Equality Minister Irene Montero of Podemos, lent her support to the violence against Vox by praising those left-wing activists “who defend their neighborhoods against racists, LGBT-phobes and machos.”
Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias, who was still deputy prime minister until March 31, justified the violence on the grounds that Vox means “fascism” so it is “not a respectable option”. As before during the far-left violence that rocked Catalonia in February and March, the promoters of violence against the conservatives came directly from the leaders of one of the two parties in Sánchez’s governing coalition.
However, if the police officers in charge of securing the Vox election rally in Madrid are to be believed, what is new is that a minister from Sánchez’s own PSOE party also took direct responsibility for the violence by forbidding the police to keep the left-wing radicals at a sufficient distance from Vox supporters.
? Abren la cabeza a un simpatizante de VOX con un ladrillo (IMÁGENES SENSIBLES). pic.twitter.com/Dsr32ddC57
— Alonso ?? (@alonso_dm) April 7, 2021
It would not be the first time Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has shown his profound disrespect for democracy and the rule of law. In May 2020, he dismissed Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos from the post of head of the Madrid Civil Guard Command. The Civil Guard colonel was refusing to pass on information about an ongoing court investigation into the government’s decision to allow feminist protests on March 8, 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was already wreaking havoc in Madrid, of which Sánchez’ government only informed Spaniards on March 9. Pérez de los Cobos simply did not have the right to pass on this information to the government.
On March 31 this year, the National High Court (Audiencia Nacional) ruled that the minister’s decision was illegal and confirmed that the Civil Guard officer had been dismissed from his post simply because he had obeyed the law and the orders of the investigating judge. To date, however, Minister Grande-Marlaska, who is himself a former magistrate, has still not reinstated Colonel Pérez de los Cobos to his duties.
‼️Así tenemos que hacer campaña electoral. Así agreden los radicales. Así intimidan a los españoles.
— VOX Madrid (@madrid_vox) April 7, 2021
The relationship between the Sánchez government and the judiciary is a matter of controversy in Spain itself, although it is not discussed in Brussels, where the progressive bureaucrats who set the agenda focus on the Polish judiciary. However, a few days ago, three associations representing some 2,500 Spanish judges wrote to the European Commission to raise the alarm on the attacks on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law by the government of Pedro Sánchez. The concern of these judges relates in particular to the efforts of the socialist-communist majority to neutralize the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ).
Sánchez would have liked, even if he seems to have temporarily abandoned his project, to be able to elect the judges of this CGPJ by a simple majority of the parliament, and not by a three-fifths majority as it is the case today (and as it is also the case in Poland, the only country criticized by Brussels for electing judges to its National Judicial Council in a manner similar to how CGPJ judges have been appointed in Spain up to now).
At the time of the formation of his coalition government with the far left, Sánchez was also criticized for appointing Dolores Delgado, a prominent PSOE member who had been justice minister in Sánchez’ previous minority government, to the position of attorney general. Here again, Brussels remained silent, while the European Commission is very critical of the merger in Poland of the functions of the minister of justice and the public prosecutor after Law and Justice (PiS) came to power. In Poland, however, this merger is the result of the application of a law passed by parliament, as per PiS’ electoral manifesto, whereas with the current situation in Spain, which is similar to Poland in practice, is the result of a violation of the spirit of the law by Sánchez. The reason? Spanish law dictates that the public prosecutor’s office must be independent from the government. Sánchez essentially disregarded this law.
Interviewed by Remix News the day after the violence in Madrid on April 7, Margarita de la Pisa, a Vox member of the European Parliament who was present during the events, testified to the seriousness of the situation in her country:
“Yesterday was horrible. We were all surprised because yesterday in Madrid we experienced the same violence as in Catalonia before. We are very shocked. I think it is always the same people moving from one place to another, but in Madrid, until now it seemed that we were protected, and yesterday was very shocking because there were almost 30 injured. Stones and bricks were being thrown, some had sticks. The police allowed the aggressors to be very close to us.
It seems that the issue of left-wing violence against us is getting worse. What happened yesterday in Vallecas was very sad. To see in Madrid the same hatred and rancor towards people [as in Catalonia and the Basque Country], who in this case are us, but who represent the opinion of many others, is very serious. We do not understand why we have to receive such intense discriminatory treatment with shouts, stones, sticks, simply for defending values, and I always ask: What is wrong with what we defend? There are many false accusations and false arguments against us.”
As for the role of the Spanish media, de la Pisa explains: “The media does not bother to talk about our version, and they contribute to spreading lies… They call us bad and attack us. They consider that our way of thinking can be censored because it is not even moral according to their criteria.”
The Vox MEP goes detail how the Sánchez’s government is actively encouraging of violence against the conservatives.
“They consider that we are the ones who went there to provoke. Going to a neighborhood like Vallecas is supposed to be a provocation in itself. You cannot exercise freedom of expression everywhere in Spain. If you go to Catalonia and you are from Vox, you are being aggressive. You are the one who is going there to provoke. On the other hand, we think that it is precisely in these places where our presence is most important. Because just as it is difficult for us to express ourselves there, it is also difficult for people who have the same values as us and live there. And they are very grateful that we go there because the stones that they throw at us politicians are stones that are not thrown at them. Our actions are steps forward, towards destroying the pressure they experience every day for not adhering to a leftist ideology that is already imposed in Spain.”
Vox’s candidate for president of the Madrid region, Rocio Monasterio, is today calling for the Podemos far-left party to be banned for its open support for physical violence against conservatives. However, de la Pisa tells Remix News that the reason why Brussels does not speak out about the attacks on democracy that are taking place in Spain is that the aim of the elites in Brussels is not to defend democracy and the rule of law but to impose the same progressive ideology on everyone and “to ban parties like Vox because of the ideas we defend”.